The hiring market for Sales & Marketing professionals in 2023 differed according to how each industry responded to economic conditions.
In industrial sectors, priorities shifted towards boosting sales volumes as the economic downturn in the US and Europe dampened demand for machinery and equipment providers in Vietnam. As a result, companies focused on filling sales and business development roles, noted Yen Nguyen, Associate Director at Robert Walters Vietnam.
“The construction industry was significantly affected by issues plaguing Vietnam’s real estate industry, which led to a delays on many ongoing projects,” she adds.
Overall, companies took a longer time to deliberate over hiring decisions, which slowed down the recruitment process.
Meanwhile, the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector was less impacted by global economic headwinds. With new brands entering the market, new roles have also emerged in the commercial sector. Companies were also aggressive about retaining key team members as it would have been difficult to replace these positions, with many doling out counteroffers to talent that secured new opportunities elsewhere. Overall, there was a rise in C-level positions in the sector.
In healthcare, many large multinational corporations separated their hospital and consumer healthcare businesses. This divide was one of the key trends that defined hiring for the industry.
“More candidates with FMCG backgrounds are entering the consumer healthcare space, with demand staying high for marketing positions across product to brand managers, though these are mostly to backfill employees who have left,” shares Yen. “There has been a downtrend in hiring within the medical devices industry. Recruitment processes have slowed down considerably as companies face challenges with registering new products with Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.”
Read on to find out more about Yen’s expectations for Vietnam’s labour market and hiring trends for Sales & Marketing professionals in 2024.
Within the FMCG sector, Yen expects that companies will continue to extend counteroffers to key personnel in the year ahead, as companies recognise the importance of retaining valuable team members. The sector will also continue to focus on digitalisation and data analytics to inform decision-making and derive precise consumer behavioural insights.
Hiring timelines will likely remain prolonged across both industrial and healthcare sectors as companies take a longer time to identify the most suitable candidate for any given role at hand.
In 2024, FMCG companies are set to ramp up usage of data analytics to understand consumer behaviour, optimise marketing strategies and improve overall business performance. This means they will actively seek out professionals skilled in data analysis and interpretation. Professionals with experience in e-commerce strategies, digital marketing, and online retail management will also have a competitive advantage as these skills are highly valued for improving and maintaining online sales channels.
The top roles in FMCG include general managers, as well as positions in sales, key account management, and marketing and brand management.
Meanwhile, in the industrial sector, companies are proceeding carefully with hiring, despite signs of a gradual market recovery. However, positions in sales, business development, key account management and technical sales will continue to be in high demand. Country managers are also on companies’ radar.
Emerging businesses in consumer healthcare and vaccines are expected to attract talent from other industries, such as FMCG. In the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors, hiring demand is expected to rise as companies become more optimistic about business performance when the economy recovers. This demand will be most pronounced for roles in sales, business development, marketing and technical healthcare.
Specific roles in healthcare that are most highly sought after are product or brand managers, key account managers and country managers.
Yen points out that sales and marketing professionals across the FMCG and industrial sectors are after career development opportunities, so companies will do well to provide growth and progression pathways. She also suggests reviewing and adjusting remuneration packages to account for inflation and rising costs of living.
To attract talent in the healthcare space, it is recommended that companies look to shorten their hiring processes, as well as to communicate all aspects of a job – from the scope to the reporting line – and the interview process clearly. Companies should also consider hiring based on potential to secure promising talent fast.
In 2024, salaries for the FMCG sector will increase at usual rates between 20 – 25% for job movers. Job movers in the industrial sector can expect increments to fall between 10 – 25%, while professionals in the healthcare sector will receive increments between 15 – 20%.
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Joined Robert Walters in 2018 with a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSP) and experience in procurement & logistics, Yen now leads multiple teams recruiting mid to senior roles, with a successful broad recruitment portfolio.
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